Ms. Andrea Louie, Religions for Peace
New York, USA
Tel: (+1) 212-687-2163
Leaders of Different Faiths Decry Death
of Kidnapped Iraqi Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho
—HRH Prince el Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, President Emeritus: “The death of the Archbishop is a loss for all of humanity”—
Religions for Peace is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace since 1970. Headquartered in New York and accredited to the United Nations, Religions for Peace works through affiliated inter-religious councils in 70 countries in six continents.
( New York, 13 March 2008)—Leaders of different faiths in Religions for Peace, the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition, joined together today to decry the death of Most Rev. Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop who was kidnapped after he left mass in Mosul, Iraq, on 29 February.
“The death of the Archbishop is a loss for all of humanity,” said HRH Prince el Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, President Emeritus of Religions for Peace, who issued a public statement condemning the kidnapping on 3 March. “The true realization of coexistence must be rooted in respect for human life and human dignity. Muslims, Jews, and Christians—we are all bound by a common moral heritage of caring for one another. With this loss of our Iraqi brother, each of us mourns an unnecessary and unconscionable death.”
Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, said, “The way to build peace—in Iraq and around the world—is for religious communities to work together,” he said. “Each one of us in the global Religions for Peace network is diminished by the loss of Archbishop Paulos, a champion for peace.”
Sayed Hassan Izz al-Din Bahr Al-Uloom, a Representative of Al-Hawza al-Ilmiyah from Iraq and a member of the Religions for Peace World Council, said in a statement after the kidnapping, “We call all of the active sides in civil society to unite and cooperate with each other to prevent such acts from happening… We all aim at spreading peace and coexistence among the followers of divine religions in respect for man.”
Since the fall of Baghdad in 2003, Religions for Peace has convened senior Iraqi leaders of different faiths ten times in Iraq, England, Jordan, South Korea, Japan, and Norway to help build trust and forge consensus; members of the Chaldean Catholic community were instrumental participants in the multi-religious efforts. Most recently, on 3 March, Religions for Peace was a co-sponsor in multi-religious dialogue, “ Iraq for All Iraqis,” in conjunction with the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.